Suspected fetal macrosomia is a doctor’s prediction that you may be delivering a large baby. If your doctor or other medical personnel make this prognosis, then they may jump the gun and plan for other delivery methods besides the normal vaginal delivery. This assumption can be dangerous for you and your baby. According to an article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a natural vaginal delivery is the best initial treatment plan for women who may have fetal macrosomia.
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How Suspected Fetal Macrosomia Is Diagnosed
There are ways your doctor and nurses can determine if your baby is growing at a rapid rate. It is their responsibility to investigate a suspected fetal macrosomia. It is a medical team’s duty of care and your right to be informed of what is going on with your pregnancy, whether good or bad. This investigation will help your doctor be aware of possible complications that may arise during delivery, and what may need to be done to avoid any problems. It will also help you understand if there has been a change of plans during your delivery.
The first thing your doctor may investigate is evident risk factors of fetal macrosomia. Not all women who deliver large babies will have these risk factors, but it is a good starting point to identify if fetal macrosomia may be an issue.
Risk factors of fetal macrosomia can include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Male baby
- History of birthing large babies
- Past due date
- Maternal obesity
- Excessive weight gain
- Older than 35
The second thing your doctor may do is perform a couple of medical tests. Your doctor may schedule you another ultrasound in your third trimester to take measurements of your baby, uterus, and amniotic fluid, amongst other things. A weight can be predicted based on these measurements; however, they do come with an average marginal error close to a pound, according to the American Family Physician.
Another test your doctor or nurses may perform is what is medically known as antenatal testing. A type of non-stress test may be performed that monitors the heart rate in response to your baby’s movements. A fetal biophysical profile may also be conducted that uses non-stress testing with ultrasonography. It tracks the heart rate, baby’s movements, breathing patterns, muscle tone, and the amount of amniotic fluid. Low scores on these tests are concerning.
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What Your Doctors May Do if They Suspect Fetal Macrosomia
If your doctor suspects that your baby will be a large baby weighing about nine pounds or more, there are three things that may be planned. They all involve the delivery of your baby.
First, you may continue to plan for a vaginal birth. Since a suspected fetal macrosomia is often a prediction and tests come with marginal errors, there is often nothing to worry about seriously. Additionally, many natural deliveries with large babies turn out to be fine.
Second, an induced labor may be recommended. This option should be done with caution as your baby may not be fully formed yet. There is also a higher chance of having to resort to a cesarean delivery.
Third, your physician may schedule you for a Cesarean delivery or better known as a C-section. This option comes with high costs, which is especially true for women who are right on the cusp of fetal macrosomia.
It can be irresponsible to already assume the worse outcome of fetal macrosomia. A lot of the time, it could do more harm than good. Discuss your options with your doctors. Ask questions. Weigh the pros and cons of each delivery method, the outcomes, and risks.
Planning for Fetal Macrosomia Can Go Awry
It is important for your doctors to inform you of pregnancy concerns, and this is no different. After all, fetal macrosomia is a serious condition. There are many cases where the pregnancy turns out fine, and nothing happens; however, there is a chance that serious consequences can occur, and you do not want to be a part of that percentile.
You should know your options and what should happen if an alternative method needs to be used. Assuming the worst for delivery and not considering the possible problems that may be present can be rash. The best things you can do right now is to stay calm, ask questions, and educate yourself on the condition.
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Filing a Lawsuit for a Birth Injury Caused by Fetal Macrosomia
If your doctor suspected fetal macrosomia but treated it improperly, you and your baby may be facing serious complications that are life-altering and financially draining. You deserve to know your legal rights. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today to set up your free consultation at (800) 222-9529.